Good Fences, Good Neighbors

We have a certain feline neighbor, about a year younger than Mostest and Fuzzums, who is, for the most part, a strictly indoor cat. Not that he hasn’t attempted to venture outside, but his humans are surprisingly quick and in the past he hasn’t made it much further than the lounge chair in the backyard.

As with most young cats raised alone and surrounded by humans, he can be a bit territorial. We tried to say hello from the top of the fence when he first arrived, and received nothing but angry hisses from the other side of the door in return. Since he clearly had no interest in inter-cat communication, we’ve kept to more familiar territory in our own yard. Mysterious, being ever curious about all neighboring cats, has made occasional return visits and been treated to the same harsh treatment. (The humans are much nicer – they’ve even been known to toss a stray bit of fish our way after a day on the water.)

With our territories mapped out, we had achieved a sort of detente. Really, things were going quite well. And then, the humans (his, not ours) left town for a few days and one of those annoying neighborhood children was hired to check on the cat. Two days into the assignment and the cat was out the door and dashing into a thick row of bushes before the kid could even remove the key from the lock.

Now, we do have a bit of sympathy for the human child. To her credit, she chased and cooed and enticed with treats, but Buster, as we’ve dubbed him, was determined to remain outside. That was when our waitstaff volunteered to help out.

The pet sitter finally conceded defeat, after mumbling about ‘soccer practice’, and promised to return in a few hours to try again. Unfortunately for Buster, it started raining and his sudden enthusiasm for the great outdoors quickly waned. He returned to his own home, and planted himself by the back door, mewling loudly and pitifully in a distinctly pitiful and unfeline manner.

Our waitstaff leapt into action, covering this quivering mess in a dry towel and bringing him into our home! A phone call was placed to the sitter, assuring her that Buster had been captured and then, horror of horrors, promising to keep him overnight and releasing him into the sitter’s care the following morning.

So there he sat, all night, ensconced on a kitchen chair, growling at any of us who ventured too close. In our own home! The nerve of some cats. And to make matters worse, our humans set up his own special bowl of food and gave him a heaping handful of dried catnip. And we were just supposed to accept this.

It was all very distressing.

And really, shouldn’t that sitter have been here at sun up, ready to return Buster to his little fiefdom?

But no, she didn’t arrive until late morning. And all the humans had to stand around and talk for what felt like an eternity, while Buster sat smugly in the same chair. Eventually, Buster was taken away, his suddenly polite self purring for the benefit of the sitter. The humans all laughed and said how wonderful he had been and how surely he had learned his lesson and wouldn’t be trying any more escape attempts.


What we really needed was some good comfort wine. It was tempting to go with a long red, given the cold and rain, but Big Fat said that the misadventures with Buster required something big on fun in order to promote full recovery. Something that tasted bright and happy and really fresh. Something that could make you feel the sunshine on the inside.

Our solution? Bonny Doone’s Vin Gris Cigare de Rose. This is a drier rose, but it’s so crisp and delicious you’ll barely notice. It’s just a happy, happy wine and it will make you feel so happy, happy as well. It’s definitely the best pick-me-up you can find. So, if you find yourself dealing with an unpleasant neighbor, grab a bottle of this Rhone varietals blend and drink a little cheer.


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